BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Heart health is one of the most important factors that can affect wound healing. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States, and these wounds cost more than $50 billion annually. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation of the affected limb.
“Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, and other issues with the heart and vessels can hinder blood flow, oxygen, and nutrition to a wound,” Susan Garner, M.D., wound care and hyperbaric specialist at the United Hospital Center Wound Care Center, said. “February is American Heart Month and an opportunity for patients to understand how their heart can affect their wound healing.”
UHC Wound Care Center, a member of the Healogics, Inc. network, offers the following tips to live a heart-healthy life:
- Live an active lifestyle with 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco of any kind, as it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Eat a diet that is heart healthy. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and other low-fat sources of protein.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. All of those chronic conditions can lead to heart disease.
- Ensure you get quality sleep by making it a priority in your life. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Manage your stress in a healthy way with positive self-talk, using stress stoppers, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing on a regular basis.
- See your healthcare provider for regular screenings. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings.
For more information about how your heart health can affect wound healing, contact the UHC Wound Care Center at 916 West Main Street in Bridgeport or 304-842-1034.